Die Kunst im Juli

Wieder war es ein Tweet in der Timeline, ein Bild von Max Beckmann vom Frankfurter Hauptbahnhof, das mich aufhorchen ließ. Über ein Bild aus einer früheren Schaffensperiode („Eisgang”) gibt es im Blog des Frankfurter Städelmuseums einen lesenswerten Beitrag zur Provenienz des Bildes. Das Bild des Frankfurter Hauptbahnhofes von 1943 dagegen wirkt eher unruhig, mit einer schwarzen Katze an der Seite, der eine eigene Bedeutung zugemessen wird. Er malte es im Exil aus der Erinnerung, insofern schon eine Leistung.

Es erschien alo in meinem Twitterfeed, als Tweet einer Nutzerin, die mich in letzter Zeit schon zu manch anderen Dingen inspiriert hat und mit der ich gerne mal ins Museum / aufs Konzert / aufn Acker zur Ernte gehen würde. Solche Begegnungen sind oft sehr fruchtbar, aber vor allem ist Max Beckmann für mich nicht einfach so ein normaler Künstler, sondern eine prägende Gestalt meiner Kindheit. Und das kam so:

Max Beckmann: „Weiblicher Kopf in Blau und Grau (Die Ägypterin)“. 
1942, Öl auf Leinwand, 60 × 30 cm

Continue reading “Die Kunst im Juli”

tags, tags, tags…

I don’t know if something like the following already exists out there, but I was just going through my feeds on Google Reader as I had recently developed an interest in Japan-related blogs (Gaijin blogs, as I’d call them – much more interesting than traveller blogs) and thought about a website that lists sites in the way humans sort them.


For instance, I grouped/tagged all Africa-related sites as “afrosphere” and European sites with no particular topic as “Eurosphere” on my Google Reader. It may not be the smartest solution, but it helps me to quickly identify where something belongs to (again, according to my own understanding which may be different from yours).

You may also see from my folders that it’s sometimes difficult to caterogize one website into a unique folder. For instance, Steve often writes about the musical Golden Afrique on his blog – so I didn’t know where to save his feed: afrospehere or ngoma?

Google knows about this problem and consequently enabled users to save their feeds in more than one folder. In dubio pro reo – so I saved his blog in both folders.

I even read the wonderful “Everything is miscellaneous” by David Weinberger the other day and think that it makes sense to tag all content. However, it’s still my own tags/keywords – and sometimes I’d like to know what kind of classification others are using on their readers.


One fine way is to check out delicious.com – that social bookmarking service I’ve been using for quite some time now – and see the tags ppl have used on their saved bookmarks. The screenshot above is a search for “Kikuyumoja” – lists 35 search results.

So the idea is to come up with a service that takes bookmarks / links from various resources (e.g. social bookmarking sites, feedreaders, etc.), looks at their tags and combines these with a link:

Kikuyumoja.com – my blog – would probably create a tag cloud like:

Kenya Germany mobile_blogging cool twitter Africa social_media blog moblog water ecosan internet mobile gprs Safaricom umts Nokia WordPress eee imagineering …

…and so on.

Again, I don’t know if something like that already exists, but the idea behind such an approach is not to display my own categorisation (because otherwise I would just come up with a tag cloud on the sidebar of my blog) – but instead a user / reader generated tag cloud: I am not interested in my own stuff, but in yours.

In other words: in case you’ve saved my blog on your feedreader – how did you tag it?

Technically spoken, I imagine a Yahoo pipes app – but how do you access those private tags on feedreaders?

Sarugakucho 11-19

I’d spent the first eight years of my life growing up in Tokyo, Japan, and since we’ve never been back to Japan since then, I was very pleased today to discover that the house we’d lived in still exists:

enlarge map

I may not be such a great fan of Google services (even though I have their ads on my blog), but this Google Street view feature just rocks big time. It’s also interesting to see how the city has changed over the last 30 years – at least by judging from what’s visible through Goolge Maps.

From a professional point of view, of course, I am nowadays wondering about the sewage system in use in Tokyo, and how they manage to provide all this high-tech infrastructure in such a densely populated area.